LOS ANGELES — It’s a Saturday morning and a half-dozen adults are sitting in a high school classroom, staring at grim photos of sickly drug addicts and hearing about the deadly consequences of gang crime. They’d rather not be here, but a judge made them come.
The moms and dads were ordered to attend the class under a new California law giving judges the option of sending parents for training when their kids are convicted of gang crimes for the first time.
Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, the lawmaker behind the Parent Accountability Act, said it is the first state law to give judges the power to order parents of gang members to school, though other court-mandated classes exist at the local level.
“A lot of parents do not know how to handle teenagers,” Mendoza said. “Now more than ever, parents need a guide.”